Comparative Impact of Climate Change on Eri and Muga Cultivation and the Resultant Impact on Rural Income and Employment in Assam




Rural income and Employment, Sericulture, Climate change


India has been the land of the ‘Queen of Textiles’, that is, silk, from a very old time. At present, India occupies the second position in the production of silk in the world, only next to China while occupying the first position in the consumption of the same. Mulberry silk accounts for 69.16% of the total silk production in India and eri comprises of 20.87%. However, in the state of Assam, non-Mulberry silk (eri and muga) occupies the lion’s share (around 99%) in the total silk production, thereby making the sericulture sector of Assam different from the rest of India. The IPCC (2007) has projected that the global temperature would most likely rise by 4.3 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century and silk being an agro-industrial product will be deeply affected. With muga being more susceptible to climate change, the muga cultivators would be more severely affected than the eri cultivators. In light of the above situation, this paper would attempt to analyse two issues. Firstly, it would try to see the differentiated impact of climate change on eri and muga cultivation of Assam and secondly, it would try to understand the resultant impact on rural income and employment.


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